July 23, 2024

Boston Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla stated in mid-December that he had never thought of his team’s second unit as a possible source of trouble. Mazzulla remarked, “For you guys, that was a talking point.” “Not for me,” I had no concerns. Perhaps. To some outside the Celtics, however, concerns regarding the team’s second unit appeared legitimate. In retrospect, the Celtics’ offseason may have been successful, but they also allowed a number of important players to depart without finding replacements. They turned down the Dallas Mavericks’ contract offer to Grant Williams. In the Jrue Holiday trade, they received one rotation player in exchange for two, Malcolm Brogdon (2023 Sixth Man of the Year) and Robert Williams III (2022 all-defense center). The Boston Celtics had aNot a lot. Not at all. The Celtics bench has been extremely effective lately, contributing to the team’s nine-game winning streak. It has been useful throughout the season. Despite missing a game due to injury only once during this run, Boston has won eight of the last nine games by a margin of double digits and has maintained a strong 18.8 net rating. On the second night of a road back-to-back, the Celtics defeated the Chicago Bulls 124-113 despite the absences of Holiday, Jaylen Brown, and Kristaps Porziņģis. Following, Boston’s ability to maintain its level of play regardless of who is in the lineup was praised by Chicago guard Coby White.

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